There are different consumer needs that include functional, symbolic, emotional, and social needs (Verma, 2008). Functional needs are those that consumers prioritize depending on the situation. For example, sick people need medication; during rainy seasons, individuals demand umbrellas and warm clothes. Symbolic needs are those that consumers prefer to be associated with such as the needs that match their personality or enhance their status.
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Emotional needs refer to needs that are driven by passion. On the other hand, social needs are related to cultural and social activities. All consumers have needs, and they pursue them to gain satisfaction (Verma, 2008). For example, the Burjel Hospital in Abu Dhabi provides patients with medical care services. Thus, people around the hospital depend on it when they get sick or when they need health advice.
Do consumers seek to fulfill rational, emotional, symbolic or social needs with this product?
With this product, the Burjel Hospital in Abu Dhabi, the consumers seek to fulfill functional needs. Patients need medication to cure their diseases. To the patients, it is a primary need. In this case, without it, the patients’ health is at risk that can even lead to death.
Decision Making Process Analysis
The decision making process involves several stages. This may include need recognition, information search for evaluation of alternatives, purchase decision, and post-purchase behavior (Kardes, Cronley & Cline, 2011).
What does the consumer do in each of the stages of the decision making process?
In need recognition, cultural, social, personal, marketing, or psychological factors make consumers realize that they need a certain product or service (Pride & Ferrell, 2012). When people in Abu Dhabi get sick, they realize that they need medication. Thus, they think of the Burjel Hospital.
In information search, consumers learn about products and services by searching information from relevant sources. In reference to the Burjel Hospital, sick people inquire about the services the hospital offers from friends, commercial, and public sources among others.
In the evaluation of alternatives, consumers compare what they want to buy with other related products or services from different sellers. In relation to the Burjel Hospital, the sick people compare the hospital with other hospitals in the region. They compare the services and the cost before making the decision to go to this hospital.
With the purchase decision, consumers agree to purchase the product or service. They have to think of how and where they can purchase the product (Hoyer & MacInnis, 2008). In reference to the Burjel Hospital, sick people can decide to receive medication from the hospital after establishing that it offers the most appropriate services.
In post-purchase behavior, consumers return to purchase the same product or service after they are satisfied. In reference to the Burjel Hospital, the people of Abu Dhabi can decide to go back to the hospital if they get satisfied with the treatment they received from the hospital during their first visit. They can also influence their friends and families to come to the hospital when in need of medication.
Include any internal or external consumer behavior variables affecting the process
The decision making process can be affected when a consumer discovers other sources that provide products or services of higher quality than the ones expected. It can also be affected if they learn from friends that the product/service they intend to purchase is not exactly the way they perceive it.
In the case of the Burjel Hospital, if patients learn that there are other hospitals that provide better services at a low price, they can discontinue their intention. If they learn from friends that the hospital does not provide what they expect, they can change their buying decision.
Types of Decision Making
Consumers portray several decision making behaviors. These include variety seeking buying behavior, complex decision behavior, habitual buying decision behavior, and dissonance-reducing buying behavior (Lamb, Hair & McDaniel, 2010).
Hoyer, W.D., & MacInnis, D.J. (2008). Consumer behavior. Mason, OH: South-Western, Cengage Learning.
Kardes, F.R., Cronley, M.L., & Cline, T.W. (2011). Consumer behavior. Mason, OH: South-Western, Cengage Learning.
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Lamb, C.W., Hair, J.F., & McDaniel, C.D. (2010). MKTG4: Student edition. Mason, OH: South-Western Cengage Learning.
Pride, W.M., & Ferrell, O.C. (2012). Marketing. Mason, Ohio: South-Western Cengage Learning.
Verma, H.V. (2008). Services marketing: Text and cases. India: Dorling Kindersley.